Self-regulated strategy development writing instruction for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder
Southall, Candice Michelle Matheney
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Although many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have cognitive ability at or above the average range, they characteristically have difficulty with written expression in terms of quality and quantity. Coupled with low motivation to persist in writing tasks outside of their area of interest and deficits in self-regulation, poor social perspective-taking hinders their ability to be proficient at writing. As these individuals approach adulthood, effective communication and written expression becomes more critical to positive post-school outcomes. In this study, the effectiveness of Self-Regulated Strategy Development with six adolescents, four of which with ASD was evaluated. Using the SRSD instructional model, Statement PIE (Proof, Information, Example) was the strategy used for expository essay writing and the STOP & DARE (Suspend your judgment, Take a side, Organize your notes, Plan more as your write & Develop your topic paragraph, Add support, Reject the other side, End with a conclusion) strategy was used to support persuasive essay writing. In addition, the researcher imbedded a social perspective-taking strategy within the SRSD instruction to support students’ attention to audience needs. Results indicated an increase in the number of functional elements after instruction. Data on essay quality, length, and duration of planning and writing were also reported. Maintenance and generalization of skills was evaluated. Students and the special education teacher found the goals, procedures, and outcomes socially valid. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.